UWM student chosen as national collegian of the year

Sydney Sampson-Webb, a May graduate of UWM from Black River Falls, is already a business leader.

Delta Sigma Pi, the nation’s largest professional business fraternity, chose Sampson-Webb as its 2023 National Collegian of the Year. Sampson-Webb, a marketing graduate from the Lubar College of Business, was selected out of 13,000 members for the honor.  She is among the first students from Wisconsin and the first from UWM to receive the award.

The co-ed business fraternity is focused on professionalism, service, scholarship and brotherhood. The National Collegian of the Year award recognizes an individual for their contributions, achievements, partnership and personal character. The person chosen serves a two-year term on the group’s board of directors representing collegiate members.

Sampson-Webb joined the organization at the suggestion of friends when she started in the UWM business school in 2019.

Several members of the UWM chapter of Delta Sigma Pi gather around Sydney Sampson-Webb after she received her reward at a conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Sydney Sampson-Webb)

“It was one of the highlights of my business school experience here at UWM,” she said. The organization gave her opportunities to attend conferences and meet other students and alumni. “It’s a great network of people, and it’s a good organization you can stay involved with after graduation.”

Sampson-Webb’s interest in business and marketing started in high school when she had an apprenticeship doing social media and public relations for her school district. While at UWM, she had internships through connections from UWM and the fraternity. The first was at Olympus Group, which does screen printing and makes mascots (including UWM’s Pounce). In that internship, she did social media and wrote blog posts about mascots. For the past two years, she’s worked at Direct Supply, which provides health care solutions for hospitals and senior living facilities.

UWM was her choice for school because of its “small town in a big city” feel and its diversity, she said. “It’s a great learning community and a great campus culture, and it’s very involved with the business community. Coming from a small town, the diversity was very big for me. You get different perspectives.”

Since one of the pillars of the fraternity is service, she’s also volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House, the Urban Ecology Center and other campus service projects.

A number of faculty members who have inspired her, Sampson-Webb said. One was Michael Freimark, senior lecturer, who she had in her first-year introduction to business course and has in her final semester’s business ethics class. He also led the study abroad trip she went on to France last summer. “He’s very inspirational for students and helps advocate for them and shows them how to get involved. He had a business career but enjoys the teaching, and it shows.”

Allan Klotsche, executive in residence, and Odai Khasawneh, lecturer and advisor to the fraternity, have also been mentors she admires, she said.

After graduating with her BBA in marketing with a minor in communication, she joined Direct Supply full-time in marketing. In addition to blogs and social media, she’s responsible for search engine optimization  and email marketing.

Longer term, after she’s had few years of corporate experience, she’s thought about following in her mother’s entrepreneurial footsteps and running her own business. Her mom runs an art gallery in her hometown. “My favorite hobby is baking, and I’d like to have my own bakery.”

She’ll also serve for two years on the national board of Delta Sigma Pi, reaching out to other college chapters. “As the national winner, I will serve a two-year term as a volunteer leader on the fraternity’s board of directors and aid in representing and advocating for the collegiate voice, as well as in the governance, oversight and budgeting of a multimillion-dollar nonprofit organization. It’s good leadership experience.”

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